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Burnham Creek Modification


The Red Lake River is probably the most important tributary to the Red River of the North from a fish resource perspective. Sixty nine species of fish have been sampled in the Red Lake River Watershed between 1962 and 2000, including lake sturgeon, a species of special concern. Burnham Creek is a 49.6 mile long tributary to the Red Lake River with a drainage area of 150 square miles, and an estimated 1.5 year recurrence interval flow of 360 cfs at the confluence of the Red Lake River. Two total fish barriers are in existence on Burnham Creek until. The Red Lake Watershed District's grade control drop structure at river mile 30 is a total fish barrier. Spring Gravel Dam, the second total fish barrier was located about two miles upstream of the drop structure. The Spring Gravel Dam washed out in 2008 or early 2009. Discussions about restoring Burnham Creek through the Spring Gravel site have occurred for over a year between USFWS, DNR, and the Red Lake Watershed District. The discussions have centered on stream restoration through the old dam area and a longer term goal of fish passage throughout Burnham Creek. Limited sediment accumulation through the former impoundment means that restoration to a natural, stable channel design with access to the floodplain (old impoundment area) would be fairly straight forward. Very little incision is evident in the stream channel through the site, and grade control riffles would probably be all that is needed to maintain a stable grade. Current stream channel substrate through the former impoundment site is predominantly gravel - cobble mix which provides important and relatively rare stream habitat. Locking in the existing grade with riffles would provide fish passage and maintain the riparian wetland/floodplain through the impoundment site valley. This is a wonderful opportunity for a floodplain and natural channel design restoration that would provide natural floodplain function/storage, water quality, and fish and wildlife habitat benefits. Removing the fish barrier at the drop structure two miles below this important habitat is critical to the overall plan for Burnham Creek. Two partial fish barriers, one at the 180th Ave culvert, and one at 200th Ave should be addressed at the same time.

Program Conservation Partners Legacy Grant Program

Status Completed

Dates 03/13/2013 - 06/30/2015

Project Manager Myron Jesme

Grant Recipient Red Lake Watershed District

Grant Recipient Type Local/Regional Government Unit

Primary Funding Source(s) Outdoor Heritage Fund

Grant Amount $50,000

Expended $50,000

Statutory Reference M.L. 2016, Chp. 172, Art. 1, Sec. 2, Subd. 5(K)

Management Unit(s) Other

Habitat(s) FGW

Activity Type(s) Restoration/Enhancement

Primary County Polk


Latest Indicator Number of acres enhanced

Target 40 Acres

Measurement 40 Acres

Target Summary planned acres

Measurement Summary completed acres